I was driving home listening to XM when the game started. I was about an hour away and figured I’d get in the first two innings at least before pulling into my garage. Well, I was off. Charlie Morton didn’t get out of the second inning and the top of the second wasn’t even over when I got home. The game didn’t change much after that. Ugh.
Morton wasn’t good and he wasn’t helped much by his defense. Andrew McCutchen made a first inning error and Delwyn Young was pressed into duty at 3B due to ongoing back issues with Andy LaRoche and a late scratch of Bobby Crosby with shoulder stiffness.
Morton gave up two doubles, a single and a walk and – coupled with McCutchen’s miscue – allowed three runs to score in the first inning. He allowed the first five hitters in the second inning to reach base before being pulled for Brian Burres. Three more runs scored, but Burres allowed just one of the inherited runners in. That pushed the lead to 6-0 and effectively ended the game. Rickie Weeks had a run scoring triple and Corey Hart added a homer later for the final tallies.
The Pirates left the bases loaded in the first inning against Dave Bush. After that no one got past second base as Bush tossed seven shutout innings. He gave up three hits and walked four. Chris Narveson gave up back-to-back doubles to McCutchen and Lastings Milledge in the 8th inning to prevent the shutout.
Morton allowed five earned runs in one plus innings. Burres allowed the final two runs over his four innings of work.
The bullpen – Burres, D.J. Carrasco, Jack Taschner and Javier Lopez – allowed just two runs in 8 innings.
McCutchen had three hits, including two doubles.
The Pirates 3-4-5 hitters went 1-10 with two walks. Combined Ryan Doumit, Garrett Jones and Jeff Clement are hitting less than .200. Going back 25 years to my misspent youth, the primary 3-4-5 hitters early on in 1985 were Bill Madlock, Jason Thompson and George Hendrick. After 12 games Madlock was hitting .146, Thompson was hitting .214 and ‘Jogging’ George was hitting was at .184. After the 12th game, the 1985 club was 4-8 and they wouldn’t win their seventh game until the 20th game of the year. That team recovered to win 57 games. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
The last Pirate pitcher to last just three outs was also Charlie Morton who did it last August 14th against the Wriglies.
Bush evened his career mark against the Pirates at 4-4. Morton is now 0-3 versus Milwaukee. In his previous two outings against them, he allowed just four earned runs in 13 IP.